Are we all getting too soft when it comes to winter on the prairies? A year ago we got a free pass from the scourge of winter. I was moving back to Manitoba after six years in Saskatchewan, and I seldom had to wear gloves in either place. “Now we’re paying the price” people are saying.
This winter has included lots of snow, and a deep freeze that makes you wonder aloud what nutty Europeans like Lord Selkirk could possibly have been thinking when they first brought settlers to this frigid land 200 years ago.
Winter is not only nasty and unpleasant. It’s also very expensive. The cost of clearing away the snow goes up every year, and we need more expensive electricity to make sure our vehicles will start. Then there are all those heavy outdoor clothes you need.
Maybe it’s an age thing. Back in the early 1960’s, when I was a teenager and winter threw its strongest left hook, we would lean into it. We would go dashing out in thin jackets and sneakers. We walked most places, or waited at frigid bus stops, and it was no big deal. My ears froze so often that I started to look like Mickey Mouse.
What was the alternative? Staying home and watching three channels of black and white TV? Low cost travel to warm winter escapes was not all that common in those days. We accepted the fact that it could be cold and nasty for five months or more.
Hockey and curling began for most of us on outdoor rinks, and the joy was filling up on hot chocolate afterwards. The greatest joy of all is knowing that the weather will change.
In a few short months we’ll be wearing shorts and sandals and firing up the barbeque. You wouldn’t want to miss that anticipation, would you?
Enjoy the season, and the land we call home.
I’m Roger Currie
You can listen to Roger Currie’s commentary by clicking on the link below: